Where the Hell is Puerto Rico?
Some here me included would like to preserve some of the threads posted on the old forum. Here's the way I'm suggesting that we attempt to preserve some of them.
Where the Hell is Puerto Rico?
Originally posted by clarencio5
I had no idea where Puerto Rico was, yet I had just finished committing myself to delivering a fifty three foot fishing boat from San Juan to St. Petersburg Fla.
It all started like this:
My wife Rose and I were living on a houseboat in St. Petersburg, Florida. One day Roger, a good friend, liveaboard neighbor and the dockmaster came up to me, smiled devilishly and asked, ”Would you like to deliver a boat from Puerto Rico to this marina?” I asked him why I would want to do something as stupid as that. He smiled and said, “Because I already told a man that you would.” I asked Roger, “Where the hell is Puerto Rico?”
Roger and his wife Fran, along with Rose and me had delivered several boats together from various places in Florida to St. Pete. We even towed a big houseboat; in rough weather from Tarpon Springs, Florida using Roger’s 46 foot Chris Craft. I vowed to never do that again because I was delegated to be the babysitter on the towed boat, in case the line broke. They had to pass Bloody Marys back to me on the tow line, just to keep me warm in the cold weather and to pacify me.
I met the boat owner from Puerto Rico that evening at the local Holiday Inn where he bought my dinner. We discussed the pay, the trip and when I would leave to fly to Puerto Rico. He waxed lyrical about this boat that he loved, describing it as a 53 foot Hatteras, gorgeous, in excellent shape with two big diesel engines. I accepted the job and hurried back to my houseboat, where I grabbed the charts to see where Puerto Rico was located. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this gem that had given him so much pleasure
A week later I found myself 30,000 feet high, on my way to Puerto Rico. I was looking down at all the beautiful clear water and the ubiquitous islands and beaches, wondering how I ever let myself get into this crazy situation. Would I ever be able to find the USA again? The flight over would take a couple of hours. The trip back would take about 11 days.
At the airport in San Juan I got one of those no brakes, all horn and guts, crazy taxi drivers to take me to the Club Nautico Marina. After the driver pulled over to where he thought I wanted to go, I told him that he had just passed the marina by 30 yards, but I could walk back. “Oh no Senor, I will get you there” At that, he backed up on the busy highway causing the other cars to jam on their brakes, honk their horns and squeal their tires. Pulling into the marina with a big smile he said, “You are here, Senor”
I was excitedly going up and down the docks looking for this “gorgeous” boat or at least someone who spoke English to help me find it. I finally found someone who spoke English. That man was Roberto, who said he was the designated mechanic of the boat I was looking for. I was wondering why this boat needed a full time mechanic and have to admit that I was starting to harbor doubts about this trip.. Roberto took me to the boat. She was an old 53 foot Hatteras with a 40 foot tuna tower hovering high above and looking as if she had been rode hard and fast.. Roberto showed me around the boat while I tried to act cool. She was a lot older than the photos I had been shown in the States. (Obviously taken in her prime.)
On board were two depth sounders, three AM radios, one auto pilot, one RDF and one fresh water making system, none of which worked. The bilge pump didn’t work either. Roberto reminded me, “Zee horn work real good and so does zee cassette player” This about the cassette player working was obvious because I heard 11 straight days of
Doc Severinson playing the trumpet. (Same tape)
Almost none of the gauges on the main helm, the flying bridge or the tuna tower registered anything. A large Boston Whaler was our only lifeboat. Its engine was inoperable, there was no plug for the drain hole, and the davit which was used to lift it overboard hadn’t worked in years. There were no oars.
Late in the afternoon a tall, good looking guy appeared at the boat. It was Captain Pedro. He was to be the Captain from here to the USA and then I would take over as Captain. Thank God, now I didn’t have to worry about being lost; only sinking. Captain Pedro had made this trip many times in many types of boats, even a small runabout. The Captain had a bicycle pump in his hand. Making an effort at humor, I asked if he were expecting a flat on this trip. Seriously he said, “No Senor, but zee boat steering does not work too well and it must have some air pumped into the hydraulics every now and then”
That was incredible; now add steering to the defective list.
Original Thread is continued Here
So here you go carry on with some of your favorites